Why Programmability Is Now a Game Changer
Publication: Electronic Engineering Times (EE Times)
September 10, 2009 -- The common wisdom these days says that the semiconductor industry is heading for the cliff. Some even say that we are like the cartoon character that went over the cliff and his legs are still moving, not realizing that there is no ground under him. The increased in design cost, the growth in the number of IPs and the mask costs are combining to seemingly make any but the highest volume chips economically unfeasible.
The pundits are seeing a world with microprocessors and a few consumer SOCs as the remaining dinosaurs while all the other designs are heading towards a cul-de-sac with a small passage towards the FPGA world for the low volume price- and power-insensitive applications.
The trends are thus obvious and the outcome inevitable. Game Over.
Not so. The designers of that game have forgotten a few important parameters. The pressure to reach low-power solutions is now pervasive beyond the mobile applications.
By Jacques Benkoski. (Benkoski is a Venture Partner at USVP, and Executive Chairman of the board of directors at Synfora, Inc.)
Reprinted from SOCcentral.com, your first stop for ASIC, FPGA, EDA, and IP news and design information.